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Monday, March 19, 2007

POSCO Project Caused 50 Injuries in Protestings in One Month in India

Indian and western Medias are full of "India is democratic. India has judical system.... blah..blah". But slogans and boastings cannot change the truth. What is happening in India can let you draw an accurate picture.

A tense stand-off with farmers unwilling to give up their land threatens India's largest-ever foreign investment project, a $12 billion steel plant planned by South Korea's POSCO.

Opponents of the project have taken heart from events in neighbouring West Bengal, where plans to seize farmland for a chemicals complex were shelved after police killed 14 protesters.

"This has had a very good effect on the people struggling against the POSCO project," said protest leader Abhay Sahu. "This is an opportune time for us to move forward."

The controversy could cast a shadow over India's attractiveness as an investment destination, officials said.

Supporters of the project were already frustrated that the government in the eastern state of Orissa had done little to back it, apparently scared of provoking trouble after protests over another steel plant cost 13 lives last year.

Clashes between supporters and opponents of the POSCO project injured 50 people this month, and angry farmers have erected a bamboo gate at the entrance to the village of Dhinkia to keep outsiders away.

"IOCL (Indian Oil) promised to give us jobs when they built a refinery near here but they backtracked, so how should we believe POSCO," said 55-year-old Dhruba Charan Palai, bare chested in the heat with a cotton lungi wrapped around his waist.

More details can be found from here.


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